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Malaysia ranks 8th in global ICT exports, up 19pct

The Edge | 07 Feb 2011 10:06 AM

Malaysia exported US$57 billion of information and communication TECHNOLOGY [ ] (ICT) products in 2009 as it took eighth spot among global economies, according to a United Nations report.

Malaysia’s exports of ICT products accounted for 36.5% of its total exports in 2009, said the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) which was released in Geneva on Wednesday, Feb 2.

In terms of imports, ICT products totalled US$37 billion or 30.1% of Malaysia’s total imports.

The UNCTAD data showed Asian economies in 2009 accounted for 66.3% of global exports of information and communication technology (ICT) goods, up from 63.8% in 2008.

“That supports recent findings that the global financial crisis has led to significant shifts in world trade of ICT goods towards Asia. More than one third of world ICT goods exports now originate in China and Hong Kong (China),” it said.

Global ICT exports, which accounted for 12% of world merchandise trade in 2009, are increasingly dominated by Asia. Seven of the top ten exporters are Asian economies.

China is the largest exporter of ICT goods at US$356 billion in 2009, with Hong Kong (China) (US$142 billion), and the US (US$113 billion).

What the data showed was that ICT goods are of great significance for many developing economies, especially in Asia.

Reliance on ICT products is most pronounced in the case of Hong Kong (China), where such items represent more than 43% of all merchandise exports.

Meanwhile, ICT goods make up 30% or more of exports include China, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and the Philippines.

The UNCTAD report revealed also that while exports from Asian countries, there was a marked decrease by most major exporters in 2009, mainly due to  the financial crisis.

ICT exports dropped by more than half in Portugal and Finland, by 36% in Ireland, and by more than 20% in the Czech Republic, France, Germany, and Sweden. Japan and the US also recorded sharp declines.

However, a few economies reported increases with India’s exports surging 244% and Malaysia by 18%.

“Moreover, declines in exports experienced by China, Hong Kong, the Philippines, the Republic of Korea, and Thailand were relatively modest,” it said.

In terms of ICT goods imports, the US tops the list, followed by China and Hong Kong. Among major importers, declines of more than 35% were registered in 2009 by Finland, Ireland, Portugal, Russia and Spain.

UNCTAD said that for India, on the other hand, experienced a rapid increase in ICT goods imports, moving from 28th to 17th in the global ranking of importers.

Data for 2008 and 2009 on trade in ICT goods can be accessed free of charge at http://unctadstat.unctad.org/TableViewer/tableView.aspx?ReportId=1754

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